William, 6 Years Old

As their kindergarten year winds down and as I think about where the boys were last year, it's amazing to see how much they've grown. I do lunch duty often at their school and within an hour and a half, you see the lunch room grow from the smallest boys to the biggest... 8th graders who are well over 6 feet tall. Now in May, even the kindergarteners look bigger and don't seem almost too-small to be at this big-kid school. William and George had their switch day on Friday, a day last year when they first visited Town for a 'real' school day. This year, they spent the morning in the first grade rooms. They've both had a great first year of school and while I think both prefer being home with mom and dad most, they both really like Town School. Dave and I have been so impressed with every aspect of the school and the community and feel so lucky the boys get to be in such a creative and caring school environment that brings out the best in teaching only boys.

Excited about crazy hair day, until he got to school

William makes friends easily and has a crew of boys he plays with regularly. Currently shooting baskets or playing tag is their game of choice. It took a little while to get going with reading for him -- he didn't like learning the basic sight words but he's doing great now, moving up reading levels quickly, reading sentences smoothly, sounding out when needed and with good comprehension. He seems to enjoy reading which is most important and has loved being able to read to Coco. He's at a point where he can read some of the 'regular' non-early reader books, like Little Critter, some Peppa Pig, etc. which is always going to be more fun than the Bob books for example. William does seem motivated to get better as he loves stories and is anxious to be able to read them on his own. We're 100 pages into the first Harry Potter book and he's loving it. Math doesn't come as naturally to him, but he's still on track.

We've had some ups and downs with William's behavior this year. Though the transition to school went pretty well, by November we were getting lots of tantrums and attitude. We worked hard to make sure he was getting a snack right after school and getting him to bed early, and though I'm not sure that did the trick, it did get better. We've continued to go through some phases of limit-testing and pushing buttons. I think some of it, at least recently, seems to stem from the close relationship George and Coco have. There was a period where they'd play a game where George would say, 'I love you so much, you're my best friend' and then Coco would say, 'you're my best friend' and then at some point it entered in that William was not her best friend because he's mean (which George may or may not have told her). William has acted out on this, both to Coco by pushing her buttons, bugging her, trying to upset her, but also just in general. For the most part, this behavior has only been at home which I guess is where you want it to be, but we have had a few minor instances of behavior I know William knows better than doing. I'm still working on how to parent through these as William isn't one to feel guilty or admit guilt easily, if ever. He'll be mad at me and super-upset in general about losing shows, but at least outwardly, not upset over what he actually did wrong. It drives me nuts as it makes me feel like I'm raising a kid who is not learning from his mistakes but one of Coco's teachers who I talked to about it and has a lot of experience with young kids reminded me that less talk in these situations is actually better and that the point is not to make them feel guilty, they'll feel that in their own way. I'm working on not lecturing so much...

William tried out soccer, basketball and baseball through school this year and while there are certainly kids who are quite impressive athletes already (and who have played these team sports even before kindergarten), William is naturally athletic, or at least similar to Dave, picks things up quickly enough to be a good team player, even if not the best. He was a great defender for soccer. He height didn't help much for basketball, but he and George have been so into it lately that they've been practicing a lot and William's shooting is quite good, and consistent. Baseball was a struggle for both, but William has a good stance and made some really solid hits toward the end of the season. Though being good isn't the only reason to push continuing with something, I thought it may be making it more fun for William but he is firming against continuing baseball next year. Acrosports has been a fun activity outside of school for them to do this last session and they've made some friends with the other boys in the class.

We avoided most of the other after-school activities outside of sports as we were really focused on giving the boys enough down time but this last session, we did let them each choose one enrichment class and William chose drawing. He's really enjoyed it and likes the other kindergarteners in the class but I think the class may be too easy for him so I'm starting to look into something else. He still loves drawing in the evenings. A week or two ago, he learned how to make the rubber band bracelets and that's been a huge hit.

William is social with kids but still pretty quiet and shy when it comes to adults. We're still working on social skills of speaking up, looking people in the eye, proper greetings, etc. His eating is pretty good, he's much more willing to try new foods than he used to be though there are certainly nights when he's putting on quite a performance of eating multiple green beans and nonchalantly saying, 'oh ya, this is my third one', and then other nights that he's tired/grumpy and refuses to even look at the dinner. They boys get served lunch at school every day, no one brings lunch. There's always a sandwich bar, soup, salad bar and then hot item of the day - quesadillas/beans/rice/veggie and fruit, hamburgers/fries/veggie and fruit, pasta, chicken tenders, pizza etc. The food is high quality and good, I eat it at the end of my lunch duty shift. There are plenty of options and many kids stick to the same thing every day. William has done a great job of getting some of the hot item each day, which despite the list of foods I shared, I think is the more adventurous and varied choice. He now eats beans regularly when he has Mexican food, tries a little rice, etc., will eat some veggies so I feel like it has helped him.

William still needs more sleep than George and is typically asleep before 8 and then usually up by the time their sun clock comes on at 6:45. Some days I'll have to wake him up for school, but not usually.

William loves listening to audio books, actually building the lego sets step-by-step and riding his bike. He doesn't wear a button-down shirt and bow tie every day like he did the first half of the year but he still is more conscious of how he looks and likes to look nice. He's been very into learning to tie his shoes (we don't have any with laces) and I promised the next size we need to buy I'll get him tie shoes.

A new allergy center recently opened down on the peninsula and they're doing some cutting-edge treatments. I was able to get William an appointment earlier in the month so we're considering going through with the process of trying to build tolerance for him to have fish. It requires many 2-hour long appointments and it's a 45-minute drive without traffic (and you can really only have a midday appointment to avoid traffic) so we're weighing the options. William really wants to be able to eat fish and while that would be the ultimate goal (and is likely if we fulfill the treatment), building a tolerance for cross-contamination would be what we're working towards.

weight: 43lbs 2oz (38lbs 1 year ago) 
height: 44.2 inches (42.5 inches 1 year ago) 
shoe size: 12
clothes: most 5T, some 6

William, you're almost finished with kindergarten and you're ready for first grade. You've made a great group of friends and enjoy playing with Ryan, Reed, Jackson, Ellsworth, Alexander H. and G., among others. You can get really silly and crazy with your friends, sometimes a bit too wild, and you have trouble getting out of that. You love any part of school that lets you draw and luckily as you're still learning how to write full sentences, there's plenty of room for story-telling through drawing. You've enjoyed your drawing class and chosen to spend your special time teaching me, Dad, Papa and Dedee how to draw what you've learned. Your focus is impressive and your skill is improving each day but there are still times you get frustrated when it's not just how you like it. You have very neat handwriting, though writing some numbers facing the right direction still gets you. You still love your Sam and Buddy and I've needed to make some repairs here and there. You're an excellent bed-maker, taking the time to take everything off your bed each morning, pulling up the sheet, laying everything just so. You prefer to take your own bath now, George is too dirty for you. You're also getting more aware of your body and want privacy when in the bathroom or when changing in public. I don't think you're the shortest in your class, but there's a group of maybe 5 boys who are all around your height. In general, you're fine with it, but any mention of The Beast (a ride G is tall enough but you're not) and things erupt. You love back scratches and cuddles. You love fantasy, shows and performances. Dad loves watching you watch a performance. You have a short fuse and it's something we continue to work on. Especially when you're tired or hungry, you are quick to hit, kick or just lose it in general. The 5-minute ride home from school is often the worst time of the day for you and George. You're quick to say, 'I wish I didn't have a brother!' or 'You're the worst mom in the world!'. On the flip side, you're very good with manners and are the most consistent with saying please when asking for things. You have these periods where you're trying to be a great kid -- tasting everything, being extra patient, using your manners and saying thank you for everything, asking how you can help. It's definitely one extreme that only happens here and there, but it's appreciated nonetheless. You have the natural ability to notice things and tell me when I look pretty. You have great focus and when enjoying something like drawing or building a lego set, you can sit there for hours (especially with an audiobook on in the background, your favorite!). My hope for you this next year is that you continue to try to new things, be a kind friend and learn to take a deep breath when you'd rather hit something or scream (this is something everyone deals with!). We love you William!

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